tv [untitled] CSPAN April 2, 2010 11:00am-11:30am EDT
ok. ayman al-zawahiri says we need to -- you see it in yemen, in pakistan, you see it in indonesia, you see it in the philippines. they have to control some territory. i can go in to what their strategy is militarily, but certainly there is a clear way ahead. if you look at general mcchrystal's strategy and the civil military approach that nato is taking in afghanistan, there is now a clear strategy. i think what we owe the american public as military is to help explain how the risks our soldiers are taking, the sacrifices they're talking are contributing to objectives that are worthy to those risks and sacrifices, not to advocate for policy, i could go on more about this, but -- good question. >> that's the bottom line, it is a great question. who do we know when we win. :
more and more power to them, of this problem is not going to come to an end. not going to come to an end. there is too many crazy people in the world. and this problem has to be managed with the strategic use of force on occasion, but my plea is that, you know, i'm a pragmatist in the sense it's much more important to be clear about the distinct character of these different problems. and design structures to respond to these different problems. my ideas, i would give you some idea, someone will have better ideas. it's just we can't confuse them all as special cases of the same thing called war. >> to get back to your question,
in both countries, iraq and afghanistan, the political objective is to stable, secure country an environment where the military is capable, of protecting the people and also from an external threat. to achieve that, requires military's main objective in support of that political objective. and what the debate in this country took place just recently and what the president engaged in and all of his advisers, was when do we have the objective, the strategy right at the first instance. are we pushing on the right buttons on what we want to achieve in afghanistan? and secondly, what should be the military strategy to achieve those goals? and there was considerable debate over that. what he selected was to put in place a counterinsurgency strategy, as opposed to the strategy we had before that. and a strategy before that was
focused principally on a counterterrorism strategy which is jargon for going into terrorist leaders, principally. and train the afghan national security forces and attempting to provide operations against the taliban or against the al qaeda. counterinsurgency strategy does not make the enemy the center of gravity, which the previous strategy did. it makes the people the center of gravity. so in every operation that you go into conduct, is the prism of what is its effect on the people? which need for the military commander at a low company commander level or at a general office level while at times decided not to even execute the operation. because it's too much risk in terms of its adverse impact on the people. and that is driving fundamental change in afghanistan. and it be served to be debated.
why? because it drives up the number of forces to execute that strategy. if you would do the other one you can do it. the problem with the other one was every six months situation was getting worse. and it didn't look like that strategy was going to be viable. and for three years in iraq we tried a similar strategy and it was not viable. so there was a powerful argument, i think, to move to the military strategy which is counterinsurgency to achieve a political goal of a stable, secure afghanistan, which is capable of protecting itself from inside threat as well as an external threat. which means we must transition the afghan national police and the afghan armies so that they can do that. and the best we're able to transition to them so they can do it is what is in play. the problem is level of balance is so high they are not capable of doing it. would have to help bring that level of balance down.
>> you happen to mention about the war and looking to the topic which of course professor mentioned about that. the long wharf with the constitution cannot go into execution. of course, this can go. but i think, like this is a war, which uses has to be declared, do you call it, looking in the long war? because it is war for generation which is going to be fought. and if it is a war, do you allow the international intervention of positions like you and others to really take part in it? because u.s. is also one of the signatories to all the treaties. professor bruce, i just ask you that if you say this is not a
war, and how do you define the proportionality of it being used as you define about the civil war? and do you, the question about -- usage as we have been arresting people in afghanistan and iraq. how do you defined in their quest do you define them as prisoners of war? or simply detainees? and in which law do you keep them arrested? >> thank you for that. let's take the last one because that is an interesting question. >> the detainees in afghanistan and iraq prisoners of war. >> it depends on if they can be transitioned into the afghan or afghan system. i haven't been in afghanistan for a couple of years i don't
how it's evolving a. i know the goal though is whenever there is a security detainee taken into custody to develop enough evidence so that they can stand up based on afghan wall, and the idea is to transition as many of these detainees as possible into the afghan system as much as they can bear it. because one of the problems obviously it is in a counterinsurgency effort, in an insurgency, the enemy targeted judges, targets the legal system. and so all of the institutions of the afghan government are under some degree of the rest. and so it depends on really the maturity of local systems. and as you know they're sort of a hybrid system in afghanistan we have tribal law that applies as well as, as well as national law. it depends on the maturity of those systems. and if they have the police, the jails, the courts and prisons to
be able to establish that this is a real important battleground, both in iraq and in afghanistan. is this establishment of rule of law specs of soldiers under your command, if they grab somebody at a site that's got a gun, they are not a prisoner of war? >> i mean, one of the things we have to do is resolve the ambiguous legal status over time. the way we're doing that in afghanistan and in iraq is try to develop the indigenous systems. and as bruce said, one of the things i agree with them, one of the roles of military is to get this down so it is such that it is a law-enforcement problem. so the enemy is defeated such that these enemy organizations can no longer effectively pursue their strategies. the state and the security forces and the rule of law of the system is a strong enough to bear this burden. >> if you don't want i will let that be the question. we're going to move on to here.
>> general keane, general mcmaster, when the military advises the civilian officiald officialdom, do you ever take into account the total cost of the project being pursued? the iraq war has cost, to date, $710 billion. afghanistan, $256 billion. the national economy right now is in the toilet. i don't think anybody would disagree with that. so how far do we go? at what cost do we pursue these military objectives that are laid out? >> is a great question. >> you say that we have handily won the war in iran and
afghanistan. i say to you, what is it we have one? and again, at what cost? >> the cost question, what is the responsibility of the senior officers in the military to take that into consideration? >> i don't think we said we have won the war in iraq and afghanistan. iraq is becoming a relatively secure situation with hopefully stability a rounded corner. we will see. >> costs. >> i'm just correcting a statement. okay? thank you. in the war in afghanistan, i never said we won the war. we just devised a policy that hopefully will help us win that. in terms of financial cost, all of those monies come out of the out of the department of defense department of defense budget. so there's not a senior leader who is not dealing with financial cost. when we go to war, and we are formulating a strategy to go to war, somebody's asking us as a
charset, rightly so, we don't take the place. and we don't choose the objective. but someone tells us to execute, we put before our leaders what does that mean to us to execute that policy that teaches formulated? what is the size of that operation? our best judgment in terms of what the duration of that operation will be, and what the cost of that operation will be. and we also try to make some attempts something were all close to, and what is the risk to the human lives that we are came into that operation? so absolutely, yes. that is put in front of leaders in some level of detail in terms of what that is. in terms of presenting different options that they may want to select in terms of the benefits and risks associated with those option. and then let them make the decision. >> briefly. >> one of the constitutional problems about how we have been
financing to sort is where been financing them on emergency appropriations. president obama says he's going to stop that. we will see whether that is too. i've been working with congressman david wu on a proposal. we've written quite a view object along these lines. to set numerical amount. let's say $1 billion for iraq. and then win, rather than be, confronting congress with a very micro choices, you know, you have to give us $50 billion more, otherwise the troops won't have armaments. rather than, and, of course, when framed in this way, the congress will vote yes. so we should set a numerical target, contemplating these big questions that you are raising, sir, and then as we get close to the target, we should reauthorize the war, or
terminate it. we don't have a good structure for asking the right questions, as you can see that seems to be the leitmotif. >> at a lot of questions are not being asked in congress. who has the microphone? right here. >> i'd like to ask general mcmaster, and that also come back to general keane, whether you think that torture issue and the issue of how to conduct interrogations has really been resolved within the military. and the reason -- and resolve no matter which civilian administration of whatever party should be in power. and one of the reasons i ask this is, as you know, many people believe that there was political pressure from the civilian side involved in what came down and abu ghraib, the
commander of guantánamo was deliberately transferred to commend at abu ghraib. he was never reprimanded. jeffrey miron i believe his name was. and there were many questions involved there, not the least of which is whether the individuals were finally imprisoned were simply scapegoats, or even the female commander, whether they, they were political pressures there that went beyond and around the commander. so how do you look at this now? and whether another administration that produced a doctrine, with the same question be brought up? and with the army know how to deal with it? and i'm trista ask general keane whether you really think that the investigation that took place resolve who was responsible for the mistakes that abu ghraib? >> thank you. >> first of all, thanks for the question. i think that, i mean, the army
has done quite a bit to adapt to the demands of the wars in afghanistan and iraq. as i mentioned i think largely because this revolution in military affairs, we may not been as prepared as we ought to have been. for operation in and amongst the population is a kind of brutal enemies we are facing. the and a duty of the circumstances brought it from a cultural perspective, plus from perspective of fighting it and capturing interrogations and all these other demands. but i think the army has adapted extremely well to the. i don't think you would matter for administration to administration. of course, law constrains us, right, and it geneva convention, but those only constraint people. laws do. only as long as they are in force. as long as they're on the books. what i think constraint is more than a thing else is our values. our values as an army, our professional military ethic, our ethos. so what defines us as soldiers in our behavior are mainly our
expectations of each other. and i think that the army has really taken a hard look at how to make sure that we use, you know, applied ethics education but in units where discipline and expectations of each other in terms of our code and professional conduct. i don't see that changing. i think our army is getting stronger every day in that connection. as we prepare soldiers for the ethical, moral, psychological demands of the very complex environment in afghanistan, in iraq by setting the culture, studying the history, developing empathy for the population, really understanding that the murders ask of this enemy cannot be justification for less constraint on the use of firepower. instead we have to apply firepower with greater discrimination. so to protect innocents. so i think that the army has come extremely a long way and adapted very quickly, based on the demands of this conflict as they were revealed to us. >> general keane?
>> the issue at abu ghraib and guantánamo and the relationship between the two is an interesting one. i am predicating some of this. secretary rumsfeld was for a frustrated by the fact that with tens of thousands of detainees in iraq, and intelligence coming out of the. but we had a small population, less than 1000, in guantanamo bay. and we had some rather significant intelligence value that came out of that. there was no interrogation policy, no under the table education policy that operated at guantánamo bay. nonetheless, it became a public relations nightmare for the united states. that's a fact. general miller, who i have something within being placed at guantanamo bay, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of that place.
and what he did was he got all the military guards involved in intelligence gathering, where in past they were not. is the interrogators were. he said that doesn't make any sense. you have to get them out and a ticket important ours and he goes back to the population. who is talking to him? what is the conversation about? why are we monitoring that? because there's this huge transfer of information, coercion, enforcement taking place. you should be providing all that to the intelligence people. that was his major contribution that he made. he was brought posted wednesday and he was so effective in terms of the order, discipline and effectiveness of using the entire u.s. military presence to gather intelligence. rumsfeld was trying to fix that. abu ghraib came. there's been, there's been this implication that because he was putting pressure on the generals to get more intelligence out of that detainee population, and
that therefore that manifested itself into an interrogation policy that were, in fact, abusive. there have been interrogation policies that were abusive. i don't believe in my own mind. i do, what took place in abu ghraib fundamentally was abuse of the prison population by the guard population. they were sent there to do another nation. they had never been trained to be a guard population. we didn't train them in some the psychological aspects of the dehumanizing a population, which is a significant thing that takes place in our own prisons systems. not making excuses, just trying to explain what happened. that's abuse took place in that chain of command there was not sensitive to the potential for that abuse over time. and it manifested in a horrible, most horrible instance which were poorly prisoner abuse. that was not interrogation abuse.
that was prisoner abuse that i think that issue got away from us. in terms of policies that were driving abuse and interrogation and abuse of prisoners. that connection has never been able to be made, and many people try to make that connection. and it has not been made. rumsfeld's frustration was what is the difference here? i am getting this from such a small population, getting very little value here. now, did we resolve this in terms of ourselves? yes, in terms of the nice its military, went through how did this happen? how did a unit do something like that and be so ineffective? we did have some abuses on interpretations i but they were a matter of policy, how did that happen? why did it happen? those people have been held accountable for all of that. and we have gone through education and training inside
the united states army to make certain that everybody understands what our policies are and what proper supervision and execution of that policy is. >> okay. our last question right here. >> thank you. my question is probably more for the generals, but also professor ackerman's view. there've been a lot of reports coming out that the lack of arabic and transit on the frontline of these wars is at issue. i have heard a report that there's a backlog of government data that included plans for a 9/11 that have not been translated. so with that in mind, and, of course, with the title of our talk of the constitution, i'm wondering what your thoughts are on don't ask, don't tell considering that since 199830 arabic and transport transit have been discharged because of it. >> there you go, general. [laughter]
>> on don't ask, don't tell, i support the don't ask, don't tell policy when i was on active duty. and i'm still supporting that. i would change that position if operational commanders, like h.r., believe that it is not going to break down the cohesion of our fighting organizations by having homosexuals serve in those fighting organizations. and the public about it. that was the essence of it. this is not an equal opportunity issued in the united states military. it is not an equal opportunity organization. it is an organization that has a mission to win on a battlefield and it has to train organizations to be successful. and the only way that we can get people to perform highly, under that high degree of stress is the have to care about each
other and have to trust each other. so much so that the psychological variable that is operating to keep the unit functioning under tremendous stress and going forward and doing what it needs to do, is that the individual soldier does not want to let down their fellow soldiers. and that gives that soldier the courage to overcome their fears that its the basic training crucible. so the cohesion of that organization is paramount to us. it's one of the reasons why in those fighting organizations, we do not have women serving in those fighting organizations because we believe, our judgment, that introducing women into a fighting organization is a cultural norm that a straight different and will be difficult to maintain the same level of intense cohesion that we need to have. there could be breakdowns and trust by favoritism, et cetera. that is a basic premise on don't ask, don't tell in terms of its
application to the military. and i'm still supporting that, and till i hear from operation commanders like general odierno, like general petraeus, like stan mcchrystal. because they're operating that force in the field. and i left this army in 2003. so if there's something different happening out there, i want to hear them say. but as of right now i still supporting. >> can you take a crack at the? >> it's a policy decision, and our senior leaders are speaking and are looking at and are doing with the analysis so that they can provide their military advice as part of a policy decision. and the one thing our army is really good at i think is responding, you know, to whatever the policy is and doing the best job to implement it. i know there are some concerns in some corners of times about civil control of the military, is a military going to push back. i mean, i really don't see that as a problem. i think that whatever the
decision is, that the military leadership will do its best to implement, implement that decision. and so i think as in all other policy issues that involve senior civilian leaders, consulted the military, you know, certainly within the secretary of defense, the siblings secretaries of the services, and the president, but it also exists in the congress. and it's issues like these and issues of war where military officers have to provide the best advice to both. the difficult is it an issue is politically charged, you don't want officers to cross the line between giving the best advice and advocacy for a certain policy. you just have to give your best advice, and then i bought the constitution to work in terms of developing the policy and telling the military what to do. >> bruce? >> i would like is a fake address one. thank you to our panel. [applause]
>> former president jimmy carter and former senator howard baker participated in a forum last month on how bipartisanship can be fostered in the current political climate. they spoke to a group at the carter presidential library in atlanta. this is 40 minutes. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i am tony clark from the carter presidential library and museum. i want to welcome you here to what i think will be a fascinating conversation. so please, join me in welcoming jay hakes, president jimmy carter and our special guest,